Butler, Weeden (1742-1823) (DNB00)

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BUTLER, WEEDEN, the elder (1742–1823), miscellaneous writer, was born at Margate on 22 Sept. 1742. He was articled to a solicitor in London, but quitted the legal profession for the church. He acted as amanuensis to Dr. William Dodd from 1764 till his patron's ignominious end in 1777. In 1776 he had succeeded Dodd as morning preacher at Charlotte Street chapel, Pimlico, in which fashionable place of worship he officiated till 1814. In 1778 he was lecturer of St. Clement's, Eastcheap, and St. Martin Orgars; and for more than forty years he was master of a classical school at Chelsea. In 1814 he retired to Gayton, where he acted as curate to his son till 1820, when, in consequence of increasing infirmities, he withdrew, at first to the Isle of Wight, next to Bristol, and finally to Greenhill, near Harrow, where he died on 14 July 1823. He was father of Weeden Butler, the younger [q. v.], and of George Butler, D.D., headmaster of Harrow [q. v.]. He was chaplain to the Duke of Kent and the queen's volunteers.

His works are: 1. ‘The Cheltenham Guide,’ London, 1781, 8vo (anon.). 2. ‘Account of the Life and Writings of the Rev. George Stanhope, D.D., Dean of Canterbury,’ London, 1797, 8vo (anon.). 3. ‘Memoir of Mark Hildesley, D.D., Bishop of Sodor and Man,’ London, 1799, 8vo. 4. ‘Pleasing Recollections, or a Walk through the British Musæum. An interlude of two acts,’ Addit. MS. 27276. 5. Poems in manuscript, including ‘The Syracusan,’ a tragedy, and ‘Sir Roger de Coverley,’ a comedy. He also prepared editions of Jortin's ‘Tracts,’ 2 vols. 1790, and Wilcock's ‘Roman Conversations,’ 2 vols. 1797.

[Addit. MSS. 27577, 27578; Nichols's Illust. of Lit. v. 130; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. ix. 223; Gent. Mag. xciii. (ii.) 182–4; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.; Biog. Dict. of Living Authors (1816), 50.]

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